Sally O’Reilly

About me

My first historical novel ‘Dark Aemilia’ is published by Myriad Editions in March 2014 and Picador US in May 2014. The novel is a fictional account of the relationship between Aemilia Lanyer, one of the first women to be published professionally as a poet in England, and William Shakespeare. My current project, commissioned by Myriad Editions, is a novel about Aphra Behn.

I’m also the author of two contemporary novels (Penguin) and a career guide for writers (Piatkus), and my short stories have been published in the UK, Australia and South Africa.

I work as a lecturer in Creative Writing at the Open University, and was awarded a PhD in English and Creative Writing by Brunel University in 2013. Previously, I worked as a journalist, freelancing for the Guardian, Sunday Times and New Scientist. I am a former Cosmopolitan New Journalist of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Cosmopolitan short story prize and the Ian St James Award.

From my website

Breaking the rules - use that adverb

Poor adverbs! The consensus in some quarters is that anyone who is not paring their work down to post-Carveresque minimalism just doesn't have a clue. Verbs must stand alone. Adverbs must be shunned at all costs. If there are any adverbs lurking in your draft, you should get the Adverb Exorcist…

Five tips for autumn writing

My day job is teaching creative writing at the Open University. So like many teachers and academics I am a tiny bit like a child, in that I measure out my life in terms and school holidays. (Possibly in other ways as well, such as being institutionalized and inclined to…

World Book Day 2015

What is World Book Day for? Why do we need it? What difference does it make to promote the idea of books in a world throbbing with electronic communication? Are paper books really better than Kindles and e-readers?These are just some of the questions I was asked by the 19…

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